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@PRRMP54 posted:

I am thinking that the destruction was really due to poor packing.


Unless it was smashed or run over by a fork lift, I agree.

I have received several items over the years that the one doing the packing was an idiot. (Like a fragile vintage Lindberg SW600 loose in an Athearn box? Really? It broke the footboards off it!)

Like PRRMP54, I suspect poor packing as well.


Man i hate to start a war here but you guys are sure assuming a lot considering you no nothing about how it was packed and the condition it showed up in. If I had been home at the time of the drop off i would have refused the package due to the obvious amount of damage to the box. The box was destroyed on one corner and the corners of the metal tables took the brunt of the hit. It was a heavy cardboard box and the corners of the table had been wrapped in both cardboard and bubble wrap. So yes the shipper had done their best to make sure it had been well packed. The Impact also broke the house off the platform and ripped the wires loose from the bulb. UPS is 100% at fault here. 


Images (2)
  • UPS Damage 1
  • damage 2

I’ll interject a semantical point here.  The shipper is the party who offers the item for shipment; the carrier - UPS - in this instance is the party that moves the shipment from origin to destination.

I spent 42 years in logistics and the misuse of terminology is like fingernails on a blackboard to my tender sensibilities.  😉



I respectfully submit that if it had been properly packaged, the impact would not have made it directly to the item. On rare vintage items, the ideal is DOUBLE boxing with padding between the exterior carton and the interior carton containing the item. (So the inner box is enveloped and protected on all sides by padding.) I've shipped some very fragile items without damage using the double box method.

Upside: IF that's the extent of the damage, I think that can be fixed with adroit use of the needed tools.


POOR packing is unfortunately the bane of many of these incidents!

Yes - seldom have I ever seen anything obviously damaged by "those apes at the Post Office/UPS/etc". I have had good "damage luck" in general, but the way some people think physics works would be hilarious if it weren't so sad and/or expensive.

I got a (formerly) nice Pre War AF O-gauge tinplate steamer years ago from a guy in Seattle. Several pounds of old locomotive. He shipped it rattling around loose in a box, protected by a single sheet of newspaper.

Seattle to Mobile is a long way, so I do not have to tell you what it did to those zinc (non-pest, BTW) drivers and wheels, do I? And the sheet metal? I did sell it to a friend for parts, and I got a partial refund, so financially OK, but....

OK, well a couple things here....

A couple of photos would serve this discussion....and your presentation to UPS...well.

Secondly.....and I'm merely making a guess since I have no idea how this transaction precipitated...I wonder what the 'track record' (no pun intended as re this hobby) of the seller has been.

If THEIR track record has been stellar, then packaging is probably less the issue, and UPS's handling more the issue.

....For which photos as-received, again, are all important in filing a claim.

Which also brings up the discussion about mandating 'signature required' at the buyer's end.  Deliveries while you're away, with no immediate recourse of refusal, are a risk you must consider.  

Yes, this is not a happy situation.  I've been through a few myself.  

But, what changes should be made in the future under our buyer's control to try to avoid a repeat?  That's what I try to take a way from this so-called 'learning experience' when it happens to me.

And, I doubt having a drone 'drop' it off at the house, instead of a humanoid delivery/driver having a bad day/attitude/training/lack of accountability/whatever is NOT a solution, IMHO.

This won't be the last of these situations, of course.  We'll read a similar posting next all probability.

Like the well-known auction sight proclaims...."Caveat emptor"....start to finish.


Last edited by dkdkrd

My father bought a sheet metal truck and had it shipped to his house. The truck arrived in a trash bag more or less from the post office who claimed that was how they got it from the shipper. The box was partially flattened and the truck inside the same. It was clearly ran over. USPS of course denied all of this the whole way.

The shipper had packaged the item about as well as could be expected.

I work at a car dealership and we get many packages a day from all the carrier companies. Giant holes in boxes and foot prints on top of things are very common. Needless to say you always need to over protect what you ship because you have no idea what will happen.

To add another story to this, I went to our local post office to drop off an expensive toy I sold on eBay. Before I left the building I could hear the unmistakable noise of that package being tossed into a bin from a distance. The clerk that day must have been trying out for basketball after work.

The transfer table (see below) has lots of "break me" protruding parts.  I would square-up the item by setting/cutting into a picture frame of foam. And I agree that a box in a box approach would protect best. Most people do their best to pack with the materials that they have. It's a cruel world out there. Packages need to be able to take a three foot drop in any orientation (6 flats, 8 corners, or 12 edges) and are constantly hit by other packs during transit. Packs take hits when they're transferred from planes, and through multiple trucking hubs. Corrugated boxes and cushioning materials can be too strong -- transferring the impact directly to the product. It's a tough thing to call. It would be hard to blame UPS totally without seeing the product and packaging first-hand.

From a Packaging Engineer for over 35 years

Vintage LIONEL Postwar O Gauge 350 Operating Transfer Table & Controller

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